THE Research and Statistics Division of SPTO published its Annual Review of Visitor Arrivals in Pacific Island Countries for the year ending 2017.
The record statistics indicated 65,004 more tourists to the Pacific last year.
“Keeping the region and our member countries up to date with tourism developments and global trends is key for planning, developing strategies, formulating policies, making key decisions and for economic development, in particular arrivals from the source markets” said SPTO CEO, Chris Cocker.
Global tourism activities remained buoyant in 2017, with international tourist arrivals grew by a remarkable 7% and reached a total of 1.3 billion in 2017.
“Growth is well above the sustained and consistent trend of 4% or higher growth since 2010 and represents the strongest results in seven years, this means about 83 million more tourists travelled internationally in 2017, compared to the additional 46 million in 2016,” said Mr Cocker.
Mirroring the robust global tourism growth, tourist arrivals (by air) to the Pacific ACP and SPTO member countries reached 2.1 million in 2017, generating earnings of US$3.6 billion.
“Arrivals in 2017 represent a 3.1% gain over 2016, or 65,004 more tourists during the period. This growth reflected the shared positive performance by the majority of destinations triggered by the sustained outbound travel demand, increased connectivity, massive promotional campaigns and improved infrastructure developments over the year” added Mr. Cocker
By destinations, double-digit growth was recorded for Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu with moderate growth.
“Fiji continues to lead the tourism destination in the region and attracted an incremental 39.4% share of the total arrivals, French Polynesia the second highest accounted for 9.3% share, followed by Cook Islands at 7.5%, Samoa 7.3%, PNG 6.7%, Palau 5.7%, New Caledonia 5.6%, Timor Leste 5.5% and Vanuatu at 5.1%. The remaining 7.7% was shared among all the other destinations,” said Mr Cocker.
Australia and New Zealand continued to top the source markets ranking and accounted for more than half of the total arrivals at 50.3%. USA, the third largest source market represented 10%, Europe and Other Asia edged at 8.9% each and Other Pacific Islands elevated to 7.5% whilst China reduced to 6.7%. All other source markets represented the remaining 7.7% share.
The publication is also distributed to SPTO member countries through Board Members, National Statistics Offices, National Tourism Offices, Reserve/Central Banks and SPTO Private Sector Members.